Top 10 Tuesdays: Best/Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

Posted July 9, 2013 by Lisa Mandina in / 23 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish. As I’ve said before, I hate when my blog is more memes than reviews, but when you get into so many advanced copies that can’t be posted until 30 days before they are published, or you already have a scheduled date for the review, sometimes you have to join in.  And since this is my favorite Tuesday meme, and my goal is to post something every day this summer, here we go!  This week’s topic is one that I love!

top ten best/worst book to movie adaptations

Let’s start with the best:
  1. The Green Mile by Stephen King – I LOVED this movie.  And I used to re-read books right before the movie came out so that I could see how close the movie would be.  I’ve recently decided to do that with the movies ruining stuff, as you’ll see in my worst list below.  But this movie, from the moment that they walk John Coffey down the “green mile” at the very beginning of the movie, I was moved to tears just knowing what was going to happen.  They did such a good job with this movie, stayed close enough to the book that it was perfect for me.  
  2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Yes, there was quite a bit left out, but again, they did such a great job with this movie, left so many of the really important things in, that I was pretty close to being as emotional when I watched it as I was when I read it.
  3. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice – Now, again, I know there are some problems, and a lot of people were against Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt probably. But honestly, I think they both did a great job.  And Kirsten Dunst was amazing!  While Tom Cruise is so not a “vampire” actor to me, he did a pretty good job in this.  So good that I hated that he wasn’t in any of the future movies they did (did they do more than one more?), because he had become Lestat in my mind.
  4. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – I choose this one because the movie is still so good to this day.  I’ve read the book, but not enough to know just how much may have differed in the movie, or at least not off the top of my head.
  5. Misery by Stephen King – While many of King’s early movies weren’t done as well as they could be, both The Green Mile and Misery were done almost perfectly in my opinion.  
  6. I was only going to do 5 for each, but I want to kind of put the Harry Potter movies up here.  Even though I will list one/two of them in my worst ones, overall I feel the movies stayed pretty true to the books and were entertaining.  So I won’t pick out any one specific title for the best list, but will put them as a whole.
And the worst:
  1. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – Where do I start with this?  Maybe it’s because I read the book with my students at school so many times, and we had so many good discussions about it.  But I was majorly disappointed when I watched this.  So much changed, or left out, to me it just really spoiled the whole story.  And I loved having students who I’d read it with come back and tell me they felt the same way!
  2. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer – Now, actually, I do love the movies.  But that is because they do kind of bring alive some of the stuff I loved about the books.  But honestly, the first movie was the worst, so much left out, I totally understood all the complaints of people who thought it was an “instant love” and so unbelievable.  There is so much more in the books to show how they actually fall in love.  But while the adaptation from the book was pretty bad, on the other hand, it got so many people reading that it was worth it in my opinion.
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I know a lot of people may disagree with me on this.  But, like The Lightning Thief, I had been reading this with my students for a couple years before the movie came out, and once again, so much important stuff left out!  And even though they were little things that were changed, like where Katniss got the mockingjay pin, my students again came and told me all the things that they didn’t like.  My main complaint with this movie is that it made it seem like the actual games only took a couple days, maybe a week.  In the book it was like a month, and so much more happened that made it so much more.
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling – This movie disappointed me because of all that was left out, Ron and Hermione as prefects, Ron’s real first season on Quidditch?  The betrayal of Percy also left out at the end of the series.  Just too much left out.  Overall it was okay, but too much left out that I felt was important.
  5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini – I had listened to this book on audio as opposed to actually reading it.  And the person who read it used such great voices and did such a great job, that it was pretty disappointing to see the movie and all that was left out.  
Honestly, I could keep going, I just remember another good one, Holes, and I’m sure I could keep listing bad ones.  What about you?  Do you agree with my choices?  Any that you absolutely cannot believe I listed as either good or bad?  I’d love to hear your opinions as well!
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23 responses to “Top 10 Tuesdays: Best/Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

  1. AWESOME list! How did I forget about THE HELP? I'm actually ashamed of myself for not putting it on my list!

    I completely agree about THE LIGHTNING THIEF. It just didn't follow the book as much as it should have. I hear SEA OF MONSTERS will though!

    • I'm going to give Sea of Monsters a chance to save the series. Of course I haven't read it as many times as I'd read The Lightning Thief since I read it with my class. Nor have I gone as in depth with it, so I'll probably be happier with it. I hope. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. El

    I've only read a few books of your list, but I liked The Hunger Games and The order of the Phoenix. But I agree with you on Twilight, to much is left out.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    El @ So Bookalicious

    • I do like The Order of the Phoenix, it just had some major things left out from the book, and that was how I was trying to base my list, on comparing to the book. Thanks for returning the favor of commenting!

  3. Ummm…I agree with you about Twilight(Kristen Stewart?!?) and Hunger Games(Where did all the action go?)..But I think Order Of Phoenix was good. I mean it shouldnt be listed in the first 5 bad ones right?
    Cant comment about Percy Jackson coz I havent read it but I saw the movie.

    • Honestly, I truly love all the Harry Potter movies, but I put it as one because it was probably the first one of them, that as I watched it, I felt there were things left out that were kind of important. But as for a bad movie, not at all, it's just a not so good adaptation. Thanks for commenting!

    • Oh, I now see your point of view. Yes, I agree many things were left out and it was a poor adaptation of Order of Phoenix,as for burning The Burrow in Half-blood Prince movie, even I was against that. Not only do they change facts they sometimes miss out crucial stuff too!
      And hey, no need to say thanks.
      You're welcome anyway!
      Would love it if you visit my blog too!
      🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Great list! I have yet to read the Percy Jackson books but I have them sitting beside my bed just waiting! Even without reading the books I have to admit it was a pretty poor movie.

    Thanks for stopping by my Top Ten!

  5. I love your good list. I totally failed this week and didn't make a list, but all of those movies are fantastic. And The Hunger Games?! I hated the removal of the mayor's daughter. The movie merchandise puts so much emphasis on the pin but the movie left out the importance of it, ridiculous. Great post.

    • OMG, you totally get why leaving Madge out was such a big deal to me and my students! I love that! Thanks so much for stopping by, sorry you didn't get a chance to make a list. I hate when that happens!

  6. Ems

    I wish I'd included The Help! It really is one of the most brilliant adaptations. I haven't seen The Hunger Games, but I really have no plans to. My imagination where those books are concerned is graphic enough…

    Great list!

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